A-Zdvent calendar: Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande by Santiago Calatrava

Dezeen's A-Zdvent calendar: Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande by Santiago Calatrava

The letter Q in the Dezeen A-Zdvent calendar is another design by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava: the fourth bridge to be built in Venice since the 16th century.

Completed in 2008, the bridge was originally known as Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande, although it was later renamed Ponte della Costituzione to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Italian constitution.

Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande by Santiago Calatrava

The structure is an arched truss bridge with tempered glass steps. It crosses the Grand Canal, connecting the city's railway station with Piazzale Roma, which functions as a bus terminal.

In a statement, Calatrava's office said the aim was to "contribute something beautiful to the very beautiful city of Venice".

Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande by Santiago Calatrava

The bridge is 94 metres long, with a central span of 81 metres. Its curving form rises up to a height of 9.2 metres, thanks to a steel structure comprising four arched beams.

Most of the steps are made from tempered security glass, and are illuminated by fluorescent bulbs set within the glass parapet. But some sections are made from Istria and Trachite stones to match the existing pavement. The handrail is bronze.

The bridge caused major controversy when it was completed, due to its lack of accessibility to wheelchair users. The city later filed a lawsuit against Calatrava over the cost of repairs and amendments necessary – but the court found in the architect's favour and absolved him of all charges.

Quarto Ponte sul Canal Grande by Santiago Calatrava

In the spirit of an advent calendar, Dezeen is counting down the days until Christmas with an A to Z of iconic contemporary bridges. See all the bridges in our A-Zdvent calendar so far »

Calatrava has designed over 40 bridges in his career, including the Chords Bridge in Jerusalem that featured on day three of the countdown. He also recently unveiled designs for three new bridges for the growing Chinese city of Huashan.